I have been spending the last couple of days getting ready for the winter rains to begin. I basically hibernate in the winter and don’t get out as much. I haven’t worn shoes in years so when it’s raining my feet tend to drag through the puddles when I transfer from chair to car and no day is a good day when you start off with wet feet. For that reason I do most of my running around on one of the infrequent sunny days we see on the Island during winter. That was yesterday.
After a doctors appointment I headed over to my local market to do a bit of stocking up including the last of my prescriptions. Now in BC we have a program known as PharmaCare which is aimed at helping with the cost of prescriptions. It is need based so more beneficial to lower income but for more detail just click on the link I provided. When you live in a budget conscious way, as I do, any little program like this helps with my personal budgeting so why doesn’t the government do the same?
Here’s the issue, the BC government insists everything they do is to improve the lives of all citizens of BC. One of the ways they demonstrated this was the first increase in almost a dozen years to the provincial disability allowance. Their generosity took somebody on disabilities benefits from the whopping $906/month to an earth shattering $983 thanks to a lotto size $77 increase. Christy Clark milked every moment of press coverage available on how great the government was to the “poor disabled”.
What she wasn’t saying, but #socialmedia certainly picked it up, was the new charge of $52/month for a bus pass program that use to be covered by disability benefits. This “generous” increase the BC government magnanimously granted those most in need effectively isolated a whole a whole segment of the community. My issue doesn’t involve disability rates or the spill over onto transportation but it does provide some insight into government mentality (or lack there of). Sometimes mentality is confused with ideology…
What really pissed me off yesterday was further indication of just how out of touch this government is and how it is reflected in their policy making. I’m on numerous prescription but hell what 66 year old isn’t. One of them ($7.19 per month) I have been on for twenty years at least, an old fashion sleeping pill. It was the last renewal I had (which I was aware of because I do monitor) so I needed a pharmacy print out for my family doctor’s 30000 heartbeat check up. At which point she will renew them all, check my blood pressure, ask me if there are any issues and I will happily leave, prescriptions in hand and an appointment booked in three months time when it’s time to renew again. Great winter traveling is minimized.
So when I ask the pharmacist if he can just fill the last prescription and provide me a print out, no problem. We are chatting away and he tells me PharmaCare will only fund 30 days at a time for numerous prescriptions including my sleeping pills. To me no big deal, it’s only $7.19 so I’ll pay it myself. At least that way when I see my doctor all future prescriptions will be on the same 90 day cycle.
It wasn’t until I got home that I really got to thinking about this. The prescription itself is $7.19 but then there is the $10 dispensing fee. That’s a fixed fee by pharmacies so it is ten buck for a $5 drug or a $500 drug. Dispensing fee is fixed. The total cost for the prescription I picked up for a 60 day supply was $25.87 (including the $10 dispensing) of which I paid $7.19. I’m staring at this receipt and something is buzzing around in my head.
I’m not sure what the logic is in determining which meds can be picked up three months at a time (my blood pressure one is as is my blood thinner) versus 30 days at a time. The logic may be missing but the economics is staggering really. PharmaCare pays $90 a year in dispensing fees for just one of my prescriptions and I am one of about a million using PharmaCare. I find it amazing how governments will spend thousands to save a hundred?
Is this how you would budget? If it is you should run for office…
Just one mans opinion…